1. Make sure the parties are correct. Who is the landlord and who is the tenant; with correct addresses for notice requirements.
  1. Make sure premises location is correct. This includes lot and block, if applicable or suite number and square footage of the premises.
  1. Make sure the term of (how long) of lease is correct. Cross-reference lease terms and base rent amount with agreement between the parties.  If agreement is contained within a separate sale agreement, check the agreement.
  1. All landlords want ownership of all improvements made to premises by tenant. Exclude from lease any improvements or additions made by tenant that relate to the conduct of tenant’s business operations (equipment, cable for internet, removable shelving, computers and peripherals. Etc.).
  1. All landlords want full control over signage, mostly as a result of zoning requirements. Attempt to weaken landlord’s control by permitting tenant to make changes, repairs, etc. Without landlord approval.
  1. All leases come with no assignment/sublet clauses by tenant except with written consent. Always insert “except that such consent shall not be unreasonably withheld.”
  1. Reduce, where applicable, security deposit to one month security.
  1. Right of first refusal (rofr)- this is a compromise provision given to a tenant instead of a tenant having an option to purchase the property. A rofr is a counter-offer, reactive approach by a landlord. A main issue that arises for the tenant is when is there a “real” offer to the landlord that triggers the rofr?  Accordingly, a tenant always wants language in the rofr that any offer is a “bone fide”, unrelated, third-party offer.
  1. Check to see if the lease has sections on customer parking (especially on the side of the building), parking for any trucks of tenant’s business and any access to the rear of the building for supplies deliveries.
  1. Most, if not all, commercial leases, require personal guarantors, to also sign the lease. This can be a very harsh reality (as well as a harsh provision) since the personal guarantor, usually the shareholder, member or partner (or even possibly a family member) will be required to guarantee the lease for the term of the lease. Attempt to negotiate this provision out or reduce the amount of time the individual is required to guaranty the lease.